In 2010, series of scams took over Manmohan Singh government which began the political change (revolution?) that India has been looking for a long time. In the coming election of 2014, it gave rise to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and rejection of dynasty politics giving old-age practice of caste-system ridden in culture realm in Indian sub-continent a blow, at least sub-consciously in politics. This was the beginning of India’s transition from becoming a democracy at initial stage to intermediate stage. So, what does this revolution mean for India?
It is said that what is West civilizations past is South East Asia’s future and it is also true for India. But, the difference between South East Asia and India is going to be the time-line. South East Asian countries took 70 years to achieve economic prosperity which West took 250 years that means India will take similar route of economic growth and political development as the West. India is 70 years old, and keeping historical changes that the West went through it is the right time for India to change itself politically in order to achieve the same level of development like the West countries. How does it apply to India?
In 1964, Prime Minister Nehru left many issues unresolved such as Uniform Civil Code and Kashmir. His ignorance and status quo on important issues led to further disruption of the state of Kashmir and his own political party falling prey to vote-bank politics by his own grandson inadvertently leading to Hindu resurgence which will reach it’s peak in next few years. Every country has it’s own problem and solves them at its own pace of time. This will lead to further growth and development only when the country goes through a period of turmoil. What is this period of turmoil?
Every period of political change has it’s downturn and it is usually the poor and middle-class that suffers. At the national level, people see no credible opposition to Prime Minister Modi which will be one reason for longer tenure of his Prime Ministerial-ship until a real opposition arises against the BJP. In other words, Congress will decline further and soon become a non-entity which will lead to rise of another national opposition party who should ideally be centrist to left, and follows secularism that does not fall prey to appeasement politics.
Covid-19 will, like any other pandemic, change the world – but it’s impact on India will be unsettling. Economically, we face a very bleak future for this decade. It will take years before India will comes out of the economic depression and bankruptcy that will follow. As a result of economic downturn, more people will fall into poverty leading to social unrest and people will focus more on religion then ever before.
Prime Minister Modi’s focus on turning India’s lopsided secularism into full-fledged Hindu state is admired by many. This has already been set in with coming-in of Citizenship Amendment Act, and discussion in Parliament to remove socialism from the preamble of the constitution. This will accelerate further after the pandemic is over. The fight between have and have-nots will increase, and so will the fight between major religious groups. More people, as a result of this economic downturn, will focus on religion leading to them being aggravated further and voting for Prime Minister Modi because their genuine support for Hindu state, unlike the election of 2019, where the support was only because of lack of an opposition.
Though India is still in it’s initial stage of democratic development, we have enough evidence to support that India loves extra-ordinary leaders. In the past, Jawaharlal Nehru was India’s leader for 17 years because he was the first Prime Minister of India. We had Indira Gandhi who was India’s leader for 14 years and her death changed the politics of the country leading to decline of Congress party and dynasty politics becoming permanent and appeasement-politics taking over, and later because of failed economic policy of her government leading to liberalization of the Indian economy in the year 1991. Prime Minister Modi isn’t any different. In ordinary circumstances, a leader gets two-terms but if the leader is different and unique, he will get more than two terms. In other words, he will definitely win 2024 elections and since their is no opposition which will take at least 10 years more to come around, BJP will win 2029 elections because of Prime Minister Modi.
What future holds for India truly depends on the rise of a national party that will be a counter to the BJP, and has leadership credentials that will have enough mass covering at least 12 states with one major state that will catapult it center stage. This will be helpful for a vibrant democracy because dissenting voices will raise the bar for public debate on core issues.